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Bellator Signing of Flyweight Muay Thai Champ Flies Under the Radar

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When Benson Henderson signed with Bellator earlier this week it was considered a great triumph for the UFC’s number one competitor. Several weeks earlier there was another signing that flew under the MMA radar. Earlier in January, 25-year-old Russian Muay Thai and Kyokushinkai Karate Champion Anastasia Yankova signed a long-term contract with Bellator rather than the UFC. Her reasoning was pretty simple. While the financial terms of her deal played a factor, it ultimately came down to the money that she can make by being able to continue her Muay Thai career while simultaneously competing in MMA, and unlike the UFC, Bellator allows it’s fighters to pursue other interest in the fight game rather than only compete in MMA bouts.

Yankova explained to MK.ru in an interview last week how she ultimately came to the decision:

“All that matters is that I know the conditions of that offer in the UFC, and I know the conditions of Bellator,” Yankova stated. “At this stage, Bellator had advantageous conditions, including in financial terms. Plus it is also very important to note the monopoly: UFC does not allow you to fight anywhere else, and it is important for me to box, even in Russia.”

Yankova started her MMA career in the Fall of 2013. Despite her background in Muay Thai, Karate and Kick Boxing she won both of her two MMA contests by submission. Her accomplishments in Muay Thai and Karate demand that she be taken much more seriously than just an average 2-0 fighter. Reebok has already seen the potential in her and signed her to a sponsorship deal. Add in the fact that she competes at flyweight, the division with the fewest fighters on the Bellator roster, and she also possesses supermodel good looks, and you have all the makings of a potential superstar.

Yankova’s Bellator debut is scheduled to be at the international event co-promoted with Italian kickboxing league Oktagon on April 16 in the home of the 2006 Winter Olympics, Turin, Italy. The scheduled main event is light heavyweight contest pitting Brian Rogers against long-time UFC veteran Alessio Sakara in his Bellator Debut. Although is has yet to be announced, the MMA portion of the show is expected to air on Spike. Yankova’s opponent has also yet been announced.

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Bellator

*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Is Conor McGregor Pushing his Luck?

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MMA Latest’s Dave Noseworthy looks at why MMA superstar Conor McGregor just might be pushing his luck following his actions at Bellator 187.

Watch Dave talk about the Irishman below:

Do you agree, or disagree with Dave’s opinion? Let us know below!

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Exclusive: Jalin Turner vs Noah Tillis set for Bellator LA in January

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Bellator LA: Douglas Lima vs Rory MacDonald, has just had another entertaining fight added as two talented prospects Jalin Turner and Noah Tillis are set to meet in a lightweight bout. Sources close to the fight confirmed the news to MMA Latest earlier this morning.

Jalin “The Tarantula” Turner makes his return to the Bellator cage for the first time since January 2017, where he defeated Gabriel Green by knockout, in an exciting fight that only lasted 36 seconds. Since the fight, Turner has gone 2-1 where he defeated Paradise Vaovasa by KO, at Tachi PF 31, before dropping his next fight to Richard LeRoy by TKO, at CFX 8. Turner bounced back from the loss by beating Vytautas Sadauskas by submission, at KOTC: Never Quit, back in September.

Noah Tillis is currently coming off of a 9-second submission victory against Jeff Carson, at Gladiator Challenge: American Pride, back in July. The “Submission Magician” has amassed a professional record of 3-2 with three victories coming by submission, DQ, and a TKO due to injury. His two losses coming by way of TKO and decision.

It is unclear where the fight will be featured, but it is assumed it will take place on the undercard. The potential brawl represents a stiff challenge for either man, as well as an opportunity to make some noise in an always deep lightweight division.

The only other fight currently announced on the card is the main event between current Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima and former UFC title challenger, Rory MacDonald. Bellator LA: Lima vs MacDonald is set to take place on Saturday, January 20th, in Los Angeles, Calfornia, at the Forum.

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Anthony “PrettyBoy” Taylor wants to knockout Trey Branch then fight Brian Moore in Bellator on St. Patricks Day

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Going from postlim fights in Bellator to a co-main event and then a main card fight after with such little professional experience isn’t something you’d hear of very often in the slightest. In this case Anthony “PrettyBoy” Taylor is the exception, who in only his third professional fight went to Ireland as part of the co-main event for a fight with James Gallagher. Taylor became well known to many in the build-up to that fight for being so outspoken and quite an entertainer, something he carries with him to the cage.

Anthony Taylor now has himself a fight lined up in a regional show near his home in California at California Fighting Championships. This will be his first time fighting back in America since May 2016. His last two bouts were in Europe as part of Bellator’s expansion into Europe. Following two losses he now hopes to get back in the win column in front of a home crowd. Taking this fight as a tune off fight Anthony is confident he won’t be touched by his opponent Trey Branch.

“Well, I’m taking this fight because Bellator said I’ll be fighting next year for overseas and it will be a good tune off fight for me. I think of trey like any other fighter. Just a guy who’s not going to touch me nor beat me.”

His opponent Trey Branch is jumping up from flyweight for this fight, Anthony believes he’s going to dominate his opponent and knock him out with ease. Now having 3 career losses coming via submission, he is not worried about his ground game, guaranteeing it was improved from training with some of the top fighters in Bellator.

“I believe I’m going to overpower him and KO him. He’s coming up from 125lb to fight me which I stated to the world on Bellator that I’m the strongest 45er in the world!! And as far as my ground game, it’d be covered and it’s great. Thanks to AJ McKee, Baby Slice, Joey Davis and Aaron Pico. My ground game is great and up there to the level, as there’s”

Looking ahead to next year when he competes in Bellator again, Taylor has his eyes set on a big fight in a return to Irish soil.

“Well Bellator loves me and I proved them that I belong there. I haven’t been told when I was fighting but I hope it’s back in Ireland, and maybe on St. Patricks day and hopefully I’ll fight Brian Moore because me and him been wanting to fight the longest.”

As a training partner for AJ McKee, Taylor was very pleased with how the fight went down, claiming it was a simple enough fight for his teammate that apparently didn’t train much for the fight. Suffering a loss on the initial trip to the emerald isle, “PrettyBoy” wants to come back and take home a win next time around.

“Oh man it was an easy fight for AJ, he only trained 2 weeks for that Brian Moore fight” he laughs “but absolutely it would be a great show if I was also on the show me and James alone still holds the record of views internationally and I’m looking to come back and taking what’s mines which is that W”

The win against Brian Moore could now potentially line up a fight between McKee and James Gallagher, fight fans have long sought after. Having fought against James and training with McKee on the regular Taylor isn’t convinced that Gallagher is ready for the AJ just yet. He also had some words about SBG fighters who were calling out Baby Slice.

“James is not ready for AJ. And people calling out slice since he’s new in the game. Why are sbg guys not calling out Joey Davis?? They are all talk and think that they’re better than everyone.”

With a win on Saturday, Anthony Taylor thinks it will kick him off to a series of consecutive wins that could ultimately land him in a fight with Emmanuel Sanchez.

“Yes it will start off (Saturday) and I believe it will set me up tremendously. I’m only getting better and I plan on winning fights in Bellator and then taking out Emanuel Sanchez. I do not like him, I hate him”

“I don’t like his style and he’s always hating on my teammates so I want his head” he added

Away from the fight scene, Anthony is pleased with the life that he’s got set up for himself with his newfound love since joining Bellator as he now aims to break into the movie industry too.

“Man it’s been great I now have a wonderful woman in my life so I’m happy. I’m acting too, trying to get into the movies industry and God has blessed me which so much love”

You can follow Anthony Taylor on all his social media accounts to keep an eye out for all his upcoming fight information and results.

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